Have you ever had a technician show up at your doorstep to perform a monthly maintenance routine, an installation, or a troubleshooting scenario? That pesky air conditioner, cable box, or internet service! Have you received that text message or email letting you know the timeframe they’d be arriving, and a report for the work that was completed once they gather your signature to wrap up? Have you ever wondered how these technicians manage their day and keep up with what needs to be done, what materials needed per location, or what team they’d be working with at each of their appointments?
Fairly recently, Salesforce released a workforce-focused product called Field Service Lightning (FSL) to help with the management of field service technicians working jobs out in the field. This tool is extremely “smart” in that it takes into consideration what type of work is being done, what is required to complete said work, who can complete the work, and any skill requirements necessary – all the way down to the order of operation the work items should be done based on priority, location, time constraints, and other nearby appointments. What better way to increase customer satisfaction than by enabling your workforce with personalized and direct data, right from their very own mobile device! Although the players on the FSL field are the Administrator, agents, the dispatcher, and the technicians, this tool can be customized across the Salesforce spectrum to play swimmingly well with any desired business practice.
With such an intelligent and complex tool, we will only be discussing five of our favorite concepts around this new platform below.
Job Management with Work Orders and relevant Details
Associate everything you need to the job upfront. Field Service Lightning makes it extremely efficient to create and manage work straight from Salesforce. Starting from Accounts or Cases, you can create work for a customer and associate relevant Knowledge Articles, required products, any skill requirements, reporting templates, resource preferences, and any related work that falls in line with each appointment. Not only that, but it also provides a way to track SLA compliance based on customer and work criteria.
Assign work based on skills, location, and availability
Reduces manual efforts across the board by letting the smart features of FSL manage your resource assignments for every work item created!
FSL provides a beautiful Dispatch Console to help visualize your workforce – you can even switch to a map view and see the last place your techs checked in. Just imagine having a long list of appointments you need to schedule every day of the week. Such a manual process. With Field Service Lightning, just a few clicks of a button allow you to optimize the scheduling of this work using a background scoring process that considers due dates, skills, territories, and a handful of other policies. Let Einstein do the heavy lifting for you, and spend your time elsewhere.
Manage your workday from any mobile app
Increase productivity significantly by sending appointments, communication, and all data points straight to your team’s phone. We live in an increasingly remote workplace, added to the customer-facing service industry – it takes daily effort to keep up with spreadsheets and communicate the necessary detail to ensure work gets done as needed. The FSL Mobile App gives technicians the tools they need at their fingertips. They can view their daily schedule, know who their primary contacts are at each appointment with the ability to contact as needed, see the products they’ll need with any instruction, review time – you name it, you can provide it to your technicians. Salesforce even provides the infamous Chatter tool for internal collaboration.
Control inventory at your warehouse, per person, and in the work van based on the current stock, as well as per work type – even letting your technicians request more and consume to a job for costing purposes. Field Service Lightning adds a layer to product management within Salesforce to allow for item usage per work order or service resource. This is a great tool to manage what’s going in and out of your system, and also as a selling tool to manage potential profit and costs.
FSL provides the ability to:
- Track Inventory Locations – what I mentioned above around warehouses, work vehicles, customer sites, etc.
- Associate Responsibilities – maintain data around the person who requested the asset or product, as well as who is responsible for its maintenance
- Track Product Detail – have a single source of truth for model information, statuses, serial numbers, etc.
- Product Requests – receive notifications when your stock is running low
- Product Transfers – track the movement of items between locations
- Product disposal and depreciation – track values, retirement dates, resell values, asset costs, etc.
Although those are just a handful of the inventory features, you get the gist!
Time Management with timesheets and travel considerations
Manage timesheets and hours for your team, including whether or not to include time spent traveling to work sites. This sets you up for ease of integration into your ERP systems for payroll and PTO-type requests. By simply turning on timesheet management, you give visibility to your technicians into what their daily and weekly totals look like – with the ability to edit and submit for approvals.
To note: timesheets are still in beta form so although they do offer the flexibility of allowing manual or automated time creation and great reporting, the ability to fully customize this into the perfect process for your company will be limited until later this year, accordingly to the Salesforce roadmap. Timesheets can be created per service resources and templates assigned per profile. From here, leverage the reporting aspect.
Field Service Lightning offers a new level of “smart” to the service industry using out-of-the-box features as designed by Salesforce. This is a great concept that can be further customized based on your specific requirements. With access to the dispatch console, mobile application, and standard Lightning views, managing the customer experience has never been this intelligent, efficient, and fun!
If you’re interested in learning more about FSL, just let us know, we’d love to chat. We’re an Austin-based Salesforce Consulting partner, with a passion and belief that the Salesforce platform’s capabilities can help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. Thanks for stopping by the Roycon Salesforce blog, be sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading and as always, happy building!
FSL Solution Architect
Jessie is a Salesforce, Strategic, and Marketing Professional with experience in marketing communications, project coordination, and Salesforce technology. Her Salesforce strategy includes business discovery, development of needed processes, implementation of new processes across divisions, and administrative/training roles after implementation. She is a recognized thought leader and creative thinker with the ability to build relationships and work with cross-functional teams.